Cataract Surgery Boosts Mental Health, Doctors Say

Cataract Surgery Boosts Mental Health, Doctors Say

As Cataract Awareness Month is celebrated in June, it’s important to know how cataracts affect more than eyesight, according to doctors at the WK Eye Institute in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide, but are easily treatable through surgery — and cataract surgery can not only correct eyesight, but it can help a person’s mental health as well.

“So, what we know is this — and I can tell you from personal experience — is that blurred vision causes depression and anxiety,” Dr. Chris Shelby told KPVI News in Shreveport.

Shelby said he has seen remarkable changes in patients after cataract surgery, especially among special needs patients.

“In some of our special needs patients, it’s actually quite amazing, like our Down syndrome patients. They will completely shut down. They’re not interacting like they used to,” Shelby explains. “And it’s actually really heartwarming to watch. Because we’ll do one eye surgery, and literally that next day they’re different people. I mean, they’re interacting, it’s like they’re their old selves again.”

WK Eye Institute’s Dr. Wyche Coleman says older patients with dementia can also benefit from cataract surgery. “We commonly have the question asked by family members of people who have dementia and have cataracts, is it worth doing the surgery? And I would overwhelmingly say, based on my experience, that it almost always is, because their functional status tends to get a lot better.”

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